GT Dave [Podcast #519] Blog Graphic for Feel Good Podcast with Kimberly Snyder.

This week’s topic is: How to Create Your Own Vision with GT Dave

I am so excited to have my very special guest, GT Dave, who is the Founder and CEO of GT’s Living Foods, the #1 best-selling and most-loved Kombucha brand. Listen in as GT shares what motivated and inspired him to share kombucha with the world, what to focus on when starting your own business, and self-care practices you should never skip out on.

[BULLETS]

  • The inspiration for sharing kombucha with the world…
  • How kombucha helped GT’s mom throughout her intense chemotherapy treatments…
  • Being raised with plant-based parents and Hindu hymns…
  • Going from point A to point B in business while embodying kindness and compassion…
  • What to focus on when creating products for your business…
  • Tips for building your team…
  • GT shares what the future is for GTS…
  • We discuss our self-care practices and how we turn our brains off and relax…

[FEATURED GUESTS]

GT Dave on the Feel Good Podcast with Kimberly Snyder.

About GT Dave

As the Founder and CEO of GT’s Living Foods, the #1 best-selling and most-loved Kombucha brand, GT Dave has not only revolutionized the way people think and feel about Kombucha and fermented foods, but dedicated his life, his brand and even his name on the label, to the philosophy that living foods should be around us and in us to live happier, healthier lives.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of GT’s Living Foods! GT also just was named EY’s 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year of the greater Los Angeles area.  He was recognized as an inspiring leader whose ingenuity, spirit of innovation, and tenacity have driven his company’s success, transformed the health and wellness industry, and made a positive impact on his community.

Today GT’s Living Foods is still the #1 selling kombucha brands and retains 40 percent of the kombucha marketplace. GT has expanded into new areas including adaptogenic mushroom tea. GT resides in Los Angeles with his husband, Allan and pet bunny Madonna continuing to act as a steward for Kombucha and all living foods.

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Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the “Feel Good Podcast with Kimberly Snyder”? My passion is to inspire and empower you to be your most authentic and beautiful self. We offer interviews with top experts, my personal philosophies and experiences, as well as answers to community-based questions around topics such as health, beauty, nutrition, yoga, spirituality and personal growth.

The intention of the Feel Good Podcast is to well…help you really Feel Good in your body, mind and spirit! Feeling Good means feeling peaceful, energized, whole, uniquely beautiful, confident and joyful, right in the midst of your perfectly imperfect life. This podcast is as informative and full of practical tips and take-aways as it is inspirational. I am here to support you in being your very best! I have so much love and gratitude for you. Thank you for tuning in and being part of the community :).

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[❤️ FAN OF THE WEEK]

Fan of the Week on GT Dave's interview with Kimberly Snyder.

[RESOURCES]

GT Dave’s Interview

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Transcript:

Note: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate. This is due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.

Kimberly: 00:01 Hi Beauties, and welcome back to our Monday interview podcast. I have a very, very special guest for you today. His name is GT Dave, and you may very well recognize his name from the Synergy Kombucha bottles that you have been perhaps drinking for years and years. I know that I have seen his name before and wondered, who is this guy? And the interview today, I have to say, is pretty spectacular. GT Dave, I don’t want to tease it too much, but he basically pretty much started the whole kombucha category. And he has an incredible story based on finding this special elixir, this modality to help his mom with her cancer when he was only 15 years old. So he’s just an incredible person, an incredible entrepreneur. His incredible vision. I learned so much from this interview and I cannot wait to get into it today.

Fan of the Week

Kimberly: 01:06 Before we do, though, I want to give a quick shout out to our fan of the week. His or her name is KBarchiesi and he or she writes, “I recently became plant-based and found your podcast through another health and wellness podcast. I want to thank you for all your information, guests, tips and tricks. Thank you so much.” Thank you so much, KBarchiesi, for being our fan of the week and for being in our community. I’m so glad that we found each other. I think it’s all meant to be, and I send you a big virtual hug.

Leave a Review and Subscribe on Itunes

Kimberly:  01:49 And Beauties, for your chance to also be shouted out as the fan of the week, please take a moment or two out of your day and please leave us a review, which is free and easy and just a great way to support the show. And while you’re at it, please be sure to subscribe to the show, and that way you don’t miss out on any of these solo casts or interviews or Q&A podcasts, which are our shows on Thursdays. All right, all that being said, let’s get into our interview with the incredible GT. Again, founder and CEO of GT’s Living Foods, the number one best-selling and most loved kombucha brand.

Interview with GT Dave

Kimberly : 00:02:18 GT I have to tell you that, I think it was, it must have been 10 years ago or more. And I used to live in New York city and I remember the exact moment where I was, I was in Union Square and there’s this Big Whole foods in Union Square. And my friend went in and came back with a couple things to share. And one of them was the Grape flavor Kombucha. And I remember your Synergy GTS of course, I took a sip and I remember thinking, what is this? I had never had anything like it before. It wasn’t sweet, but it was sparkly. And it was interesting. It was my first sip of kombucha I’m even getting goosebumps. And it changed my life. I then started, I was already into sauerkraut and fermenting foods, but I didn’t really know about kombucha. So first of all, I just want you to know that… Then I read the label then I saw your name. And now over a decade later here we are doing this podcast. That’s amazing how connected we all are.

GT: 00:03:20 It really is. And thank you for sharing with me your story, because your experience is exactly what we aspire all of our fans and all of our consumers to experience. We really want them to have this moment when it’s experiential. When you have your first bottle of raw kombucha, that it opens your eyes, it almost creates this reawakening. So I love that you just shared that with me.

What inspired GT to not only want to drink kombucha but share it with the world

Kimberly : 00:03:40 It was this reawakening and I’ve to GT talk a lot about gut health. I’m really into SBO Probiotics and all these different things. And my journey came about because I used to be super bloated. I had really bad acne. So can you tell us a little bit about, maybe kombucha has been around for a long time, but you brought it into the modern world. Where did you even come up with this idea? Never heard pf it, so amazing.

GT: 00:04:07 Yeah. Well, so first of all, the people that I have to thank for introducing kombucha to me is my parents. So my parents, both my mother and father raised me very holistically, very spiritually. And in addition to that, they raised me on a plant based diet. So I was actually a vegetarian in my mother’s womb. And then when I came out of the womb, I was vegetarian for the first 10 years of my life with just a little break there and then went back to being vegetarian. But throughout the many years of my upbringing, my parents exposed me to so many different types of foods from tofu, to wheat grass, to chia seeds, to Noni juice, to everything that now is becoming more and more popular. And again, by the way, this is the ’80s. So even the word plant-based was even a thing in people’s minds, but kombucha was one of the things that my parents exposed me to.

GT: 00:04:55 And to be honest, I thought it was very weird when I first saw it. So I actually didn’t want anything to do with it, but it wasn’t until I witnessed my mother and my father’s positive experience with it, that I gave it a second chance. And the two things that really resonated with me, that I witnessed that my parents experienced with kombucha is, one they became fanatic about drinking it and they noticed that their skin, their hair, their immune system and their energy levels all improved. But honestly, that wasn’t enough for me. The second part, which was really the moment is when it helped my mom with her breast cancer. And not only did that resonate with me, but in many ways inspired me because in many ways I thought kombucha kind of, it helped my mom survive this battle with breast cancer. And through that, I became inspired and wanted to not only drink it for myself, but I actually wanted to share it with the world. So, that’s how it was.

Kimberly : 00:05:42 Oh, sorry GT. What stage breast cancer was she and how did it help her?

GT: 00:05:46 So she had stage three breast cancer, maybe even stage four, actually, now that I think about it. And what happened was, is my mother was plant-based herself, very athletic, the picture of perfect health or so it seemed, and so she actually thought she was pregnant and she went to the doctors to get checked. And the doctors unfortunately responded and say, “Mrs. Dave, you’re actually not pregnant, but what you have is this tumor growing in your right breast. And it’s about the size of a golf ball. And we believe you’ve had it for several years. And in addition to that, we believe it’s a very fast growing form of cancer. And therefore we’re concerned that it has already spread throughout your body to specifically your bones.” So it was actually my mother that came home from that doctor’s visit and sat me and my brothers and my father in the backyard of our home in Los Angeles and share with us the news.

GT: 00:06:35 And I have to be honest that when she shared this diagnosis, I thought I had been diagnosed with cancer. It was within minutes I felt that my life was coming to an end, and that the sky was falling. And so we all were very concerned naturally. And I remember my mother’s words saying, “I will beat this because I want to see my boys grow up to be men. And I want to see my family grow up to everything that I hope and wanted it to be.” And so she was really, again, committed to overcoming cancer, which I believe is step one. You always need that wheel to live. And that bravery to overcome the adversity that now is in front of you.

GT: 00:07:12 However, two weeks later, she went to the doctor. They called her back in to give her some of her test results. And of course she was very concerned because they normally only call you into the office when they have bad news. And so they brought my mother into the doctor’s office and they sat her down. They said, “Mrs. Dave, we brought you into the office today not because we have bad news, we actually have good news. This cancer and tumor that we identified in your body, despite the many years that we believe you’ve had it,” they thought that she had it for four years. They said, “the tumor is actually pre-cancerous and dormant. And it has not spread throughout your body to your lymph nodes and certainly not to your bones. So we actually brought you in, because we want to ask you some questions. We want to know what you’re doing differently in your diet. We want to know if you’re taking any Chinese herbs or Chinese medicines or anything that’s out of the ordinary.” And this was the part that really sold it to us, “because your condition is miraculous.”

Kimberly : 00:08:06 Oh, my gosh.

GT: 00:08:07 And so that was the story that my mother retold when she again came back home and took me and my brothers and my father back in the backyard, again, it was like deja vu, but now the story had a positive ending. And so that was that moment where I went from complete darkness two weeks prior, to complete light with hopefulness-

Kimberly : 00:08:27 Wait, two weeks.

GT: 00:08:27 Yes, in two weeks. Yes. When we got the first diagnosis of, “hey, we found this tumor in your right breast, it’s very large. It’s very fast growing. We don’t think that the outcome is going to be good.” To all of a sudden, “actually the tumor is precancerous. It’s dormant and has not spread.” Now, what they did say is, as I mentioned, your condition is miraculous, but they still wanted my mother to go through radiation, excuse me, chemotherapy, lumpectomy, chemotherapy and then radiation.

GT: 00:08:55 And so my mother did do that because again, this is the ’90s. So you didn’t really have the internet because this was 1993. And you didn’t have the phenomenon of the health and wellness movement that you have today. So my mother thought and said to me and my brothers and my father that, “listen, so apparently kombucha has helped me stay strong and stay resilient. But my doctors are saying that I really need to incorporate more conventional medicine to see me through this.” So she did opt to do chemotherapy and ultimately the lumpectomy, the surgery of the removal of the tumor and more chemotherapy and more radiation. And as you or anybody that’s listening that knows, when cancer patients go through such intense treatment. A lot of times they die of the treatment and not the cancer.

GT: 00:09:40 So, that was the second indication that I saw that kombucha help my mom is that, throughout these really aggressive and intense series of chemotherapy treatments, kombucha was the only thing that she could consume. And during her treatments it helped her with her stomach, because obviously the nausea. It helped her with her immune system, because a lot of times you can get very sick and it gave her strength. And so that was a culmination of all these things. It really spoke to me and I said, “mom, dad, this really needs to be shared with the world because this is something that’s so special and can truly help others.” So I was 15 years old at the time.

How kombucha helped GT’s mom throughout her intense chemotherapy treatments

Kimberly : 00:10:17 Oh, hold on a second. Pause for a second. Where were they getting kombucha since you weren’t making it and bottling it, and how much was she actually drinking at that time?

GT: 00:10:26 So what’s really interesting is in the early ’90s, my father being the plant-based kind of health food pioneer that he would say he is, is that every day on the way to his office in Hollywood, he would stop by the store called the Beverly Hills Juice Club, which really was one of the first press juice here in Los Angeles. So he’d pick up his fresh pressed carrot juice, a shot of wheat grass, his shot of ginger, all of that. Things that again, only were really being done then, now we’re a little bit more popular and a little bit more widely available.

GT: 00:10:57 And so on one of his trips to the Beverly Hills Juice Club, the owner whose name is David Otto, who’s still around and so is the Beverly Hills Juice Club, approached my father and said, “Michael, you’re a friend and a great customer. My wife had just returned from the Himalayas and she came back with this kind of fermented tea. That’s fermented with this mushroom. And she’s saying it’s great for the immune system that it was originated in Manchuria, China. That everybody who drank it in this village and Manchuria all live to their hundreds.” He said, “but to be honest. I’m not buying it.” He’s like, “I think it’s snake oil. You and I both know there’s nothing better than fresh pressed juice.” He’s like, “but again, you’re a good friend and we’re on the same path. I would really, really love for you to give this kombucha a try. Here’s the culture, here’s the recipe. I’d love for you and your wife to make it and let me know what you think.”

GT: 00:11:47 So it really was kind of a favor to be honest, that my parents were being asked and because my parents were very open minded, they went about it with a very open heart. So I remember when my dad came home with the first culture and made his first batch and that’s really what my mother was drinking up to this point.

Kimberly : 00:12:04 That is an amazing, amazing story. So, that guy his wife literally got it from the Himalayas.

GT: 00:12:10 Yeah, is that baby in the background?

Kimberly : 00:12:13 Yeah. Sorry, one second GT. Sorry, one second.

GT: 00:12:16 Oh good. Aww he’s a little one in the background. I think your audio cut out.

Kimberly : 00:12:42 Sorry, GT this is my real mom life GT [inaudible 00:12:45] you can hear him a little bit in the podcast and people get it. And that’s one of the reasons I think people relate to me because I’m trying to juggle everything.

GT: 00:12:54 That’s right. What’s his name?

Kimberly : 00:12:56 His name is Moses.

GT: 00:12:58 Moses, it’s a sweet… Me and my husband are working on children. So I have a new found. Yeah, we’re doing maternal twins or at least maternally related three months apart. So the first one is expected May of next year. And then the second one is expected August of next year.

Kimberly : 00:13:12 Oh my God! Congratulations. Boys or girls?

GT: 00:13:19 One boy, one girl.

Kimberly : 00:13:20 Oh my gosh. What a blessing. They’re going to be so close in age.

GT: 00:13:24 They are. Yeah. So I have to be honest, I’m excited and absolutely mortified. So when I see anybody handling their baby, I’m paying much more attention these days, from my wanting to learn some tips or observe because as you probably know, you kind of learn as you go, right.

Kimberly : 00:13:40 It’s so much easier too with the second one, we have a four year old. And I think the first time parent is just so careful with everything and now we kind of roll with it. He’s always on my body. He’s always with me for my Zoom calls. So you’ll see. You and your husband will just, you’ll love it.

GT: 00:14:00 We just embrace it [crosstalk 00:14:00] Yeah, as his life, right?

Being raised with plant-based parents and Hindu hymns

Kimberly : 00:14:04 Wait, so GT, are you still plant-based because I’m actually vegan. I’ve been plant-based for, I think 12 years now and both of my children have been plant based since conception.

GT: 00:14:19 That’s amazing. Yeah. So I’ve been plant-based virtually my entire life. Now what I referenced earlier is at the age of 10, again, my parents being very progressive, but also very open-minded, they said to me and my brothers, they said, “all right, children, we raised you this way for the last 10 years. We believe that this is the path, but we want you to discover it on your own.” So they said, “so at this point forward, you can eat whatever you want and draw your own conclusions of what is right for you.” And so of course I was like, “yes, I’m going to McDonald’s and doing this and doing that.” And to be honest I actually enjoyed the way meat tasted. It was very savory, very flavorful, all of that. But I did not like how it made me feel. And maybe I think after about six months of it, I thought to myself, this doesn’t feel right. And honestly, what was kind of the culmination of this realization is when I went to McDonald’s and I got a chicken McNugget and I dipped into it, and a purple vein popped out.

Kimberly : 00:15:18 Yow.

GT: 00:15:19 Yeah. And I remember looking at it… And then again, my 10 years of upbringing kind of ran through my head and I thought, this isn’t really right. This may taste good, but it’s not making me feel good. If it’s not making me feel good, what is it really doing for my body? And again, I was raised to understand energy and I felt like, is this really good quality of energy that I want to put into my body? And so then I gave it up and I never looked back.

Kimberly : 00:15:45 Wow. So when you said you were thinking about in terms of energy, were your parents yogis? Were you raised in meditation?

GT: 00:15:53 Yeah, exactly. So in addition to being plant-based, my parents took me to India many times when I was a young boy. So my first trip was actually at the age of three, and I stayed at this Ostrom in India and of course they were all plant-based and we learned Hindu hymns and meditation, and all this kind of different kind of consciousness that is… At least back then was somewhat foreign to a Western way of thinking. And in many ways it kind of married the East and West for me.

Kimberly : 00:16:21 Yes.

GT: 00:16:21 So it was different than how a lot of my friends were raised. And to be honest, I even kind of resented it early on because as you know, when you’re growing up, you just want to fit in and you just want to be like everybody else.

Kimberly : 00:16:34 [inaudible 00:16:34] the weird boy having Indian hymns.

GT: 00:16:37 Exactly, all my friends would go to Europe for the vacation and I’d go to India. It just didn’t feel normal. But in looking back, I’m incredibly grateful for that [inaudible 00:16:49] because it really solidified my path and being compassionate, being empathetic, believing in whether it’s karma or reincarnation, or just that every action that we do in this world almost has a reaction. So it’s a different way of thinking. By the way, I was also raised Catholic. So my parents had a beautiful job of marrying my spirituality with also my religiousness. And so it was an interesting kind of marriage of the two, which I’m very proud to have experienced,

Kimberly : 00:17:21 You know, GT it’s so funny you say that, because my Guru is Paramahansa Yogananda, who I don’t know if you’re familiar with, are you familiar with him?

GT: 00:17:29 I’m vaguely familiar.

Kimberly : 00:17:30 Okay. So, he started something called The Self-Realization Fellowship, and he’s one of the people that brought yoga to the West. So he talks about the connection, the heart of true religion. He talks about the message of Jesus being very similar to the message of Krishna. And like you said, bridging East or West and someone like myself that was raised Catholic, just feeling oh this is how meditation and spirituality can work with that instead of opposing it. So, that’s been really nice. It feels really harmonious when you find that

GT: 00:18:03 It’s true and you know what, my parents took me to The Self-Realization Fellowship on Sunset a lot growing up. And so, although I don’t know explicitly the teachings, I do know that they are essentially synonymous or aligned with Sai Baba. Sathya Sai Baba was the Holy man in India that my parents took me to see. And the one thing that he said that my parents would continue to repeat to me throughout my life is, “every river leads to the ocean, every religion leads to God.” And that was really saying that, because that’s the one thing I did notice growing up in Catholicism, is there was this heavy sense of judgment that it’s this way or no other way, if you don’t follow this, you’re doomed.

GT: 00:18:44 And as I grew up, I was exposed to Judaism and Buddhism and of course Hinduism, which when I was went to India and I was like there is this common thread amongst all religion. And if you strip away some of the judgements and the heavens and hells and all that stuff, it really is live your life with love. Give people love and you’ll get love and be kind to each other. That is honestly the basic principle of almost every religion.

Kimberly : 00:19:10 What’s amazing listening to you GT is, we have all different kinds of [inaudible 00:19:15] yes with my coauthor for my books Deepak Chopra talking about philosophy, talking about spirituality. My next book is actually heavily about spirituality, but I’m hearing you talk about it from your heart. And then I think, wait a minute, this guy is this super successful business guy. And so sometimes we think, oh yeah, just love and true. And then people will, my ex, different people will kind of dismiss it and be like, oh, you’re just a hippie blah, blah, blah. But what’s really inspiring in you is that you’re embodying kindness and compassion, and you’ve also parlayed it into this big business. It’s interesting.

Going from point A to point B in business while embodying kindness and compassion

Kimberly : 00:19:54 I want to go back to the kombucha in a little bit, but it’s kombucha idea comes into your life very authentically. Your mom’s sick. It helps her heal. You’re yogi, you’re growing up in this really conscious environment. How do you go from that? Let’s say point A to point B, where everywhere in the world, every franchise your kombucha, you figured out distribution, production, all this stuff that’s so business-minded. And I’m not sure what background you had before to went into this. How did you go from point A to point B, which I’m sure it’s not an easy answer, but just broad strokes. Because, it’s really interesting.

GT: 00:20:35 Yeah, to be honest, I think you’ll relate. I think the best analogy I can give it’s like giving birth. So I was giving birth to this idea, this living thing that I wanted to raise and make myself proud and do something special in the world. And when you have that commitment and conviction, you don’t sacrifice, you don’t compromise. You lead with your heart. I didn’t start my business because I was looking to get rich, or famous or any of those things. As I said, it helped my mother with her breast cancer. I notice it’s improvement in my life. And so I really wanted to share it with the world and that was all I really wanted to do. And by the way, just for anybody listening, it’s been 25 years in the making.

GT: 00:21:18 So I am by no means an overnight success. So, everything that you’ve just described about seeing it everywhere and all of that, that came with price and sacrifice. For the first five years of my professional life, my products were only basically sold on the West Coast. And I was almost virtually a one man show. Where I made it, I bottled it, I delivered it and I’d go to the stores on the weekend and I would sample it. So in many ways, this was my child, this was my family. And so that was really important because I think, what a lot of business owners and entrepreneurs do, especially in this day and age of instant gratification and kind of this rat race that we sometimes fall into is, they just start making these leaps and bounds with the growth of their business.

GT: 00:22:03 Because again, everything is so instantaneous these days that they skip certain steps, or when they make mistakes, they make big mistakes that can sometimes be catastrophic. So in retrospect, what really helped me is, as I said, it was slow and steady. It was like raising a child. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t put my newborn into college, because that would basically wreck its life. So that’s why for the first 10 years I was this overprotective parent, really protecting this idea and making sure that it never changed. And if it did, it only changed for the better. And then in addition to that, I learned. I pride myself on being a very, very fast learner, very observant. I’m obsessed with details almost too much so to be honest, but the good news is when you’re very detail oriented, you understand the good and the bad and you know how to avoid the good, excuse me avoid the bad and maximize the good. And so that was honestly the secret of my success.

Kimberly : 00:22:55 Wait, say that, what was the secret? Say it again, GT.

GT: 00:23:01 So it’s being detailed oriented. So when you’re detail oriented, you rather learn things on your own that you learn them in a very isolated environment. So you’re not making big mistakes, or better yet, what I would do is I’d learn from others. So whether it was other brands in the marketplace, but I noticed that once they got so big, their quality started to drop. Case in point is at Odwalla, which is actually a very timely example, because now Odwalla, as of two months ago, Coca-Cola which acquired them many years ago, just announced that they’re shutting Odwalla for good.

GT: 00:23:32 So the reason why I bring that up is it Odwalla had just started around the time that I started. And they were the darling of the natural food marketplace, and they were celebrating this raw, fresh juice. And they had this beautiful story around it and about it. But then, because they were so aggressive with their growth trajectory, they made these leaps and bounds and virtually overnight, they had their first recall, they had Eco-Line their apples, which unfortunately got somebody sick and even think a child got very sick. And what did they do overnight? They changed their business plan. They went to flash pasteurization and they took this very safe road.

GT: 00:24:07 And so I was able to observe that and I was able to go, alright, where did this go wrong? And how can I learn from this and make sure that I don’t repeat their destiny, or other destinies that I’ve seen with other brands. And so, I’m fortunate that I am a founder and I don’t have any investors and I don’t have any partners. So I don’t have any of that kind of exterior noise or pressure that I think a lot of times can overstress an entrepreneur. And so I was able to just lead from my heart and do things my way. And fortunately, it’s worked out.

Kimberly : 00:24:36 So you’ve never brought in investment money, you self funded it and then just grew it within it’s… That’s incredible. The entrepreneurs I really admire the most have been able to do that, like Sara Blakely.

GT: 00:24:52 Right. Well, listen, it’s a path less traveled because it’s very, very hard. But if you have the intention that I do, which is I have no intent to sell number one. Number two is, I’m not going to say that I’m not interested in what other people have to say, but I noticed a lot of times when I get people’s opinions, a lot of times their opinion is colored by other things. Like, “hey, this is how you make more money,” or “this is how you’re growing your business faster.” It’s rare, not to say it’s impossible for people to come from this place of, “hey, I want to help you make your product better.”

Kimberly : 00:25:25 Right.

GT: 00:25:26 Over the course of the first 10 years that I was in business, I really didn’t get that type of advice I got, “hey, let’s change your formulas so you can sell more” or, “hey, let’s do this to your products so you can have a longer shelf life,” or “let’s cut this corner so you can make more money.” And I was candidly kind of mortified with some of the advice that I was getting, because I was like, do you guys just want to make bad products, but make a lot of money at it? Like, is that the common theme here? And so I tuned out those people and that’s why I was actually adverse to having an investor. Because I thought, no, I’m a single parent. Let’s just own it. And I’m going to raise this child the way I want to.

What to focus on when creating products for your business

Kimberly : 00:26:03 Love it. I love it. So your focus was putting out the best product.

GT: 00:26:07 That’s it[crosstalk 00:26:08]The best product possible.

Kimberly : 00:26:10 Not the marketing.

GT: 00:26:12 Nope. I mean the marketing to me again, you’re going to get tired of this analogy, but I’ll use it, is because the brand in many ways, an extension of me, I don’t have to work hard to give it a voice, because in many ways it’s voices is my voice. Because the company and the product was based on, in my mind, a very purpose driven mission, which is it helped my mother and I want it to help others. And I believe that everything you should do should come from your heart, and it should come from love. That’s been my foundation. So I don’t really need to up with a cute marketing slogan or a cute marketing campaign to tell that story, because in my opinion, that never gets old. I think people genuinely want great products that are going to change their life for the better. So as long as you can articulate that, I think you’re good.

GT’s process for building his team

Kimberly : 00:26:57 Wow. Gosh, it’s so amazing. I think sometimes people get caught up GT on, I don’t know enough. And then building your team, when you started, you were a one man show, but eventually you probably had to hire an operations person and this and that. So did that come from your heart too? Because along the way, I certainly made mistakes and we’ve had bad partnerships and legal stuff. And [inaudible 00:27:22] So for you, even though you were so rooted and you didn’t want to take on investors, what was your process for building your team?

GT: 00:27:33 It really was to find like minded individuals. So again, for instance, if you’re going to bring somebody in to be a nanny to your child, you want to make sure that you’re aligned on, okay, this is how the child’s going to eat. This is what the child’s going to be exposed to. This is the energy around the child, because that’s what I believe. And that’s what I’ve been giving my child. So why change it? It’s easier said than done, to be honest, because especially when something in the employment world is somewhat transactional. It’s an employer, employee relationship. It’s hard to have those conversations.

GT: 00:28:08 So there is some trial and error, but you start to notice that there are certain key indicators that really are the essential qualities of alignment. So I believe whether it’s astrology, I believe it’s your philosophy on your diet. I believe it’s the philosophy of this world. What makes you tick? What is important to you? And if what’s important to you is how much I make being made, excuse me, how much I’m being paid or what’s in my title. I’m like, that’s great. I don’t think this is a good fit for you, because I want somebody that-

GT: 00:28:38 Yeah. I want somebody to walk in and be like, listen, “I want to be part of something that’s special. I want to be part of something that’s bigger than me and truly is making the world a better place.” And when I hear that, I’m like, “yes, welcome to the family.”

Kimberly : 00:28:52 Wow.

GT: 00:28:53 But if they come here and it feels a bit more like a career move or again, another rung on the ladder that they’re going to climb. That’s great but you can go do that somewhere else, because I’m really actually trying to build a family. I’m not looking to employ transients, which a lot of times, certain people that are looking to climb the corporate ladder, they are so much transient in that respect and that’s not something I’m interested in.

Kimberly : 00:29:13 Right. It’s not the right energy. It’s not building the soul of the brand.

GT: 00:29:18 Yeah. I’m on a mission. I want people to get by my side, and we’re going to march together indefinitely.

GT shares what the future is for GTS

Kimberly : 00:29:25 What’s the goal GT? You’ve already gotten into every store everywhere. So what’s the future for GTS?

GT: 00:29:33 Well, first of all, I’m a big believer that you can always be better. And I believe that perfection isn’t necessarily an attainable goal. I think perfection is somewhat of this fantasy, but I do believe that the pursuit and the path to perfection is something very real. So I’m a big believer in continuous improvement. I believe that complacency really is human and corporate cancer. So I never, ever, ever feel like I’ve made it. In many ways I just feel like I’m getting started. And what that kind of perception gives me is this humility, this passion and this persistence to, I need to keep on moving. Again, if a thousand things are going well, and one isn’t, it’s the one thing that I need to fix. And so listen, that can be a blessing and a curse because a lot of times, it could be perceived that I’m not satisfied with things or I don’t celebrate my-

Kimberly : 00:30:28 Never enough.

GT: 00:30:28 Yeah, it’s never enough. And I’m going to be honest sometimes it’s that way, because I want to always be better. And I want the people around me to always be better.

Kimberly : 00:30:39 The yogic Buddhist concept GT of letting go of the fruit of your actions. You do your best. We show up in the moment we’re here in the now and then we let it go. How do you live that in your business? Or is that something you live in your business? It’s easy to get caught up in outcomes, right? I do it too. I want to know, how’s this doing and this, but in the Eastern sense we’re meant to let go.

GT: 00:31:10 Yeah, absolutely. So let go can mean a lot of things. So what I was raised to believe it’s called detachment. It’s not indifference. It’s not that you don’t care. It’s just that you do your best, but you understand that, destiny has a plan of its own. So everything, whether it’s good or bad is meant to be and everything you can learn a lesson from. And I do believe, and I’ve learned, I don’t want to say the hard way, but I’ve learned many lessons in my early adult life. And I’ll give you one, is when I was starting my business, about two years into it. After my mother successfully overcame her breast cancer, we had another cancer scare in the family, and actually it was my older brother. And I was now at 17 years old at the time, he was 22 years old and he was diagnosed 10 days after his 22nd birthday and died six months later. And what I saw in this journey is that-

Kimberly : 00:32:05 I’m sorry.

GT: 00:32:05 No, it’s okay. Because this is part of the answer to your question is, how do you learn from things and how do you not let them destroy you, but how at the same time do you grow from them? And so with this experience is, I was able to see somebody that was more or less in my age range, who had a certain point of view about life, wanting to be popular, wanting to be successful, wanted cool clothes, and the cool cars and the cool friends, over the course of six months being stripped of all of that. And none of it meant anything to him. And the only thing that was meaningful to him, is that he had love around him and love in his heart. And so seeing that really solidified my path that yes, I want to do something with my life, when I’m on my death bed, I want to say, listen, I loved everybody. I made this world a better place. I was kind, I was compassionate, I was empathetic, but I also made something out of my life. I contributed.

GT: 00:33:01 So sometimes it’s that interesting balance of being detached, meaning everything you do, isn’t intended to feed your ego or to fill into greed or anything like that. But at the same time, you also realize that there’s a greater plan. So, in that respect, you kind of embrace it. And in many ways you surrender to a certain degree, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t care. So with me, even when bad stuff happens, I embrace it. And I ask myself, why did this happen? What lesson am I supposed to learn from this? If this was to happen all over again, what would I do differently? Because, chances are almost everything in this world, you’re going to experience more than once. And so on the second time around, if you really reflected on the initial experience, you’re now wiser. And the next time something happens, you handle it differently. And if you’re lucky, the outcome will be different and it might be a better outcome. And that’s kind of how I live my life,

Kimberly : 00:34:36 I went through a similar experience GT where my mom was very into health. She was into organic. She was progressive, a little bit later in her life because her energy was starting to go in and out. But she was so healthy and amazing. She comes from the Philippines. And then a couple of years ago, on Valentine’s day, we found out she had cancer, which was a huge shock because she had been so healthy and she meditated. And then we tried everything. I tried to give her probiotics and kombucha and glowing green smoothie and everything that I knew and still she passed in six weeks. And there was no buildup. There was no indication. It was so quick. And then I was shocked.

Kimberly : 00:35:18 So I think, when things like this happen, you just think how do I deal with it? How do I move forward? How do I make sense of this?And for me, like you said, surrender, there’s a bigger plan. This is the will of God somehow. And I think she’s really happy, she’s moved on to where her soul can continue to evolve is how I reconcile it. And for me, it just created so much growth. My whole life shifted. I moved. I did all sorts of things.

GT: 00:35:47 That’s an interesting story. So one thing I’d love to add is, what I’ve learned, because now I’ve lost a couple people in my life, is that I think in this society, we fear death. We see it somehow as this end and we see it somehow as some type of failure. If you get a disease and you don’t beat it, it’s like they lost the battle. But I think if you have a different point of view and you realize at the end everything happens for a reason and what were we supposed to learn out of this? And what will we continue to learn out of this? I think that helps with the coping process.

GT: 00:36:17 And then in addition to that, if you really understand that, I genuinely believe that there’s more to this life. And in many ways I see death as a graduation. So if you understand that, it takes the sadness away from things and it changes the perspective of death is a failure, death is the end. In many ways, death becomes the beginning and that’s been a philosophy that I’ve subscribed to, that not only has helped me cope with the loss of others, but it’s helped me also understand my life.

Kimberly : 00:36:45 Yes. Well, and what I learned through that GT too, was it was her path to go and learn somewhere else. Like you said, a new beginning. And a lot of times with grief, we’re really crying for our loss and our attachment to how things were versus the truth, which is, it’s just the flow of life.

GT: 00:37:04 The cycle of life.

Kimberly : 00:37:06 The cycle of life. So you keep going.

GT: 00:37:07 Yeah. Exactly.

Kimberly : 00:37:09 So GT let’s take it back to kombucha again for one minute. I have a couple more questions for you. So now you’re like, okay, I’ve been doing this for 25 years. Are you still, what seems like the answer is yes, still just as passionate about kombucha? Do you still drink it every single day of your life?

GT: 00:37:24 I do. Yeah. To answer your question pointedly, I’m more passionate about kombucha than I’ve ever been. However, I must admit that my approach to kombucha has changed. And it’s been slightly against my will, but again, as we were talking earlier, you got to embrace change. And for the first 20 years of my career, I spent it primarily spreading the word of kombucha and educating people on why they need it, and why it’s healthy, and using it also as this conversation starter of why we need to be careful of the foods that we consume. Food can be your medicine as well as your poison. And that continues to be the conversation. But now there’s been this additional conversations that’s come into the play, because of the proliferation of all the kombucha brands in the marketplace.

Kimberly : 00:38:12 Right.

GT: 00:38:13 Over the course of the last five years. If you ask the average kombucha consumer, what kombucha is and why they’re drinking it, you’ll be amazed with the difference of answers that you get. You’ll hear everybody saying, “oh, it’s like a new age soda” or, “oh, it’s like a lighter sparkling something.” Or “I like it because it tastes good,” or, “I think it’s supposed to help my digestion,” but they don’t really understand why. And the concern that I have is, growing up my parents exposed me to yogurt. And so my first impression of yogurt was YoPlait. And that was my standard of yogurt. And I’m pleased to say that I’ve now learned that YoPlait is not considered real yogurt and there’s different kinds of yogurt [crosstalk 00:38:56]

Kimberly : 00:38:57 There’s coconut yogurt.

GT: 00:38:58 Exactly. So I felt a little misled. And I felt that I was not getting the authentic version of the yogurt, but I didn’t know better. And I’m concerned that if we’re not careful now in the kombucha industry, that may be the case going forward, that somebody might buy a product that says kombucha on a label, but it’s not made with the kombucha culture. It’s not fermented. It may not even be living. It might be a pasteurized carbonated flavored tea with some added in probiotics. Not to say that, that’s a bad thing. It’s just not kombucha. So I’ve learned that this next chapter of my mission, is to not only continue to promote the awareness and education and history of kombucha, but it’s also to protect it. Because again, I would be very, very heartbroken and after 25 years of this journey, to wake up one day and find out that the world is now just basically decided that kombucha is just your new age LaCroix.

Kimberly : 00:39:55 Gosh. Wow. So you started the whole category didn’t you GT?

GT: 00:40:04 Yeah. I mean, it’s-

Kimberly : 00:40:07 How old is [inaudible 00:40:07] You were the first entrepreneur to put it on the shelves. Did you have any job? I think I must’ve interrupted you. Did you have any job before this? Or you were a kid, your mom got sick and as a teenager you were like, this is going to be my life mission.

GT: 00:40:20 Yeah. I was 15 years old, so my two jobs was going to high school. And then the second job was I worked at actually behind the counter of this Italian restaurant in Brentwood. And that was actually my first experience in the, call it the food business. And I saw how food can be made and how it can be made commercially and all of that. And actually, I was pretty surprised about how unclean some of the environment was in the kitchen, because you would see food sitting on the floor all day and they would tolerate that. But I know in my home I didn’t tolerate that. So that actually gave me confidence that when I started making kombucha in my household, I could say with confidence that I was making it in a very sterile and sanitary environment, that there was no chance of any kind of contamination.

GT: 00:41:01 But back to your question. So yes, I virtually started my business without any manufacturing experience. I hadn’t gone to business school. I barely had even mastered high school and I just treated kombucha like this special thing that I wanted to craft with my own bare hands and share it with the world. And as long as I came from a good place and that I wanted to change people’s lives for the better, I would be okay. And so that was kind of my business plan.

Kimberly : 00:41:25 GT what would you say to someone, you hear your story it’s so authentic, you’re this little kid going around, but then in a certain point you started to scale and grow this into like a huge global brand. So the person, like you said today may look on the shelf and they may be like, “oh, look at these little Artes, no local kombucha.” Again, we don’t know the quality control, but “I want to support local and small.” But then, on the hand, you are a local and small and you scaled and you kept it consistent, and you put integrity, and you built an amazing product and now it’s huge. So what would you say to the people that say, “oh, but I like to go to the little Artes and all once.”

GT: 00:42:08 Yeah. Well, first of all, I think it’s important to buy local. Now there are different degrees of local. I think buying local produce is wonderful because it’s being grown local. Now for instance, something like kombucha, and there’s exceptions to this. So I’ll preface this by saying, this is a general statement, but when it comes to local kombucha, that is, they’re still getting their tea overseas, they’re probably getting it from Japan or India or China. Their bottles are likely being made overseas. And so yes, those ingredients are being assembled locally. That doesn’t mean that everything’s local. So that’s I think, something that everybody needs to be cognizant of when they’re buying local, they need to understand really what’s the percentage of the ingredients and materials used in this product. Do they actually come from a local source? So, that’s number one.

GT: 00:42:53 Number two, just because it’s local doesn’t mean it’s high quality. So I’m not here to, kind of battle other producers of any size. But again, when it comes to kombucha, you really want to make sure that they’re making it the right way. That they’re fully fermenting it. They’re making it with the kombucha culture, that it has a bright and bold and alive flavor, because if it doesn’t have any of that, I don’t care where it’s coming from. It’s a waste of your time and a waste of your money. So that’s my kind of advice to people is, read the label, kind of listen to your body. Are you really feeling like this is everything that you want and everything that you deserve. And if you don’t have an answer to that, call the company and ask questions.

GT: 00:43:36 Ask them what are the size of the batches you make? How long do you ferment it for? Do you know your probiotic count? Do you do anything post fermentation? Do you pasteurize? Do you filter? Do you make your press your own juices or do you buy your juices from someone else? And if so, are the juices pasteurized? It’s all these questions that, again, every answer will inform this is a great brand, regardless of where it’s made, or this is a brand that’s still figuring it out and I’m going to continue to explore the quality of others. And that applies to kombucha or any other space.

Kimberly : 00:44:08 Yeah. I think it’s great like you said, to buy local and produce, but when a brand has grown to this level, it also means they’re doing something right. And they’re keeping that integrity. So, again, it’s not as easy as being like, oh, I just buy the small batch stuff. I think sometimes these broad strokes get lost in the realities you want to choose the best product, no matter what, big or small.

GT: 00:44:36 Yeah, it’s true. There’s a lot to decide when it comes to choosing a product and you have to look at it from a 360 degree point of view.

Kimberly : 00:44:44 How many kombuchas do you drink a day, GT?

GT: 00:44:47 I drink a lot. So Monday through Friday, because one of my primary roles is the taste every batch before it ships. I can probably go through about eight to 12, 16 ounce bottles or about a gallon to a gallon and a half.

Kimberly : 00:45:00 A day?

GT: 00:45:02 A day. Yeah. I don’t recommend that people emulate my consumption, but for those listening, that always wonder, hey, can I drink too much kombucha? The answer is probably not. Because I am case in point and I’ve been drinking this much for over two decades and I still feel great. Now if somebody was to ask me how much can I drink? Or what’s considered the ideal amount, I always say about two to three bottles a day and not because more than three will harm you, but I’m a big believer in moderation. So if you’re wanting to drink more than three bottles of kombucha day, I think you need to stop and reassess your diet and make sure you’re drinking enough water, making sure you’re getting some vegetable juice, making sure you’re consuming other things.

GT: 00:45:45 That’s a nice segue into the fact that we, as a brand has started to make other beverages outside of the kombucha space, to kind of help our consumers who want more functional beverage, but don’t have a lot of options out there. We want to be that next option for them. So whether it’s our Water Kefir called AQUA KEFIR or our ALIVE, which is kind of an ancient mushroom elixir with reishi, chaga and turkey tail. We want to create this portfolio of all these different products that people can have at different times of the day or whatever the occasion is, kombucha or otherwise.

Kimberly : 00:46:18 But is there a yogurt too?

GT: 00:46:19 There is, yeah. We make something called CocoYo, which again was kind of a happy accident is, we have this product called, it used to be called CocoKefir for now it’s called a Probiotic Shot, where we take raw young coconut water and we ferment it. And it’s not really a beverage. It’s more of like a therapeutic shot, where if you drink two ounces every day for seven days straight, you notice dramatic changes in your digestion and your elimination, even more so than kombucha or Water Kefir or anything like that. And so we started with this product, but because we crack the young Thai coconut here in Los Angeles, we’ve discovered that we have this coconut meat leftover. So I’m a big believer in minimizing your waste, so we started to hand scoop the meat, puree it, add a little bit of fermented coconut water. And that became our raw coconut yogurt called CocoYo. Have you had a chance to try it?

Kimberly : 00:47:13 I was waiting to tell you GT, the CocoYo is, in my opinion, one of the best things you can buy in the store. With this guy, and you guys can’t see this, but GT is such a patient, amazing man. I’m holding baby Moses so he can see him in the screen, but also to keep him from crying. So when I first, I would say first trimester and a lot of the second trimester, that was one of the only things that I ate. It was one of those[crosstalk 00:47:43]

GT: 00:47:43 No way.

Kimberly : 00:47:44 Every day, just the plain Vanilla CocoYo and the Plain one and the Vanilla one, not the Chocolate, not the other flavors. I think it’s one of the best things for pregnant women GT.

GT: 00:47:55 Oh, thank you for saying that

Kimberly : 00:47:58 Because your tastes are weird. Your hormones are weird. And then just having this coconut yogurt, I knew it was nourishing. I knew it was healthy fats and the probiotics and I could get it down. So thank you for creating that. My husband would go out and feel the whole shelf with it, CocoYo.

GT: 00:48:16 I love hearing that because to be honest, it’s such a hard product to make, and it goes back to what I was saying earlier, I would never choose to make our CocoYo, if I was looking to make a profitable product. Because it is so arduous-

Kimberly : 00:48:29 Labor intensive.

GT: 00:48:30 To make this product, it’s a labor of love. But everything that you just shared is exactly what is the intention behind CocoYo is, it’s a difficult product to make it’s super active. It has a short shelf life because again, we only use raw, simple ingredients, but when you experience it, it is life changing. So whether you’re pregnant, whether you have digestive health, whether you’re looking to just get off of the junk food or these sweet little treats, CocoYo really is remarkable with how it can change people’s lives. I appreciate you sharing your story and listen, I’m going to tell my team that we’re missing the boat. We need to start talking to some pregnant women and make sure that they understand that this is a great opportunity for them.

Kimberly : 00:49:06 Yeah, no, I have a pregnancy course coming out in January GT. I will be sure to mentioned it.

GT: 00:49:12 Okay. Yeah. And we should hook you up. We should make sure we get you some coupons or something. So you can share it with your audience.

Kimberly : 00:49:17 Oh, yeah. When I was pregnant, I was doing stories all the time. I was doing bowls, people were like, “what is that coconut yogurt?” So I think I’m responsible for moving some CocoYo in the world.

GT: 00:49:29 Thank you. I appreciate that.

Kimberly : 00:49:32 Yeah. Sometimes as the creator or it must be interesting to hear how real people are using it, and what they gravitate towards, the Gingerade Kombucha is also really wonderful for morning sickness in pregnancy. As you know, the ginger resettling and then the bubbles. And just thinking about all the people getting off ginger rail and soda because of your kombucha. I can’t tell you how many clients have said, “hey, you’re transitioning away from diet soda. This is the best thing.” And it does really help people.

GT: 00:50:02 It does. Yeah.

Kimberly : 00:50:03 Amazing.

GT: 00:50:04 Thank you. We love making these special products that only tastes good, but actually can remarkably improve people’s lives for the better.

Kimberly : 00:50:12 Yeah. So just for what it’s worth, and I’ve been waiting 10 years to tell you this, the Grape, the Cranberry and the Lavender, which I think are the newer ones I think are genius. The Lavender one has this… People use it for essential oils, but I have to tell you the story. I was in a road trip with a couple friends. I had bought five of your kombuchas for everybody. And I was like, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. There’s the Grape one, the Trilogy, blah, blah, blah. And I said, and then there’s the Lavender one, but the Lavender one’s for me. But you guys can pick from the other ones and everybody’s like, “we want to try the Lavender. Oh, the lavender.” But it’s also like when somebody has something, then you want it, I think, the psychology.

Kimberly : 00:51:01 But man, just amazing what you’re creating in the world GT. I just have to tell you rock on dude. You’ve stuck to your heart and you’ve done something with kindness and love and made it huge. And I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times, but I just want to acknowledge how amazing your journey has been. How many people you’re helping.

GT: 00:51:25 Thank you. Well, it is really the driving force behind what I do, is it really is the mission, the purpose. And to be honest, it does help navigate the storm. As you know, back in 2010, the entire kombucha category was put on pause for three months, and it made a lot of brands go out of business and it almost made my company go out of business. But what really kept me kind of convinced and certain that I was going to weather the storm is the love that my fans shared with me on how they were saying, “listen, I drink this product not because you told me it was healthy. I drink this product because I discovered that it’s healthy for me. And it really has changed my life.” And so it’s that relationship that we always seek to build with our fans, which again, becomes my North star. And in many ways becomes the guardrails, because I can never do anything that would jeopardize that relationship with our fans and jeopardize the relationship that they have with the products we make.

Kimberly : 00:52:22 Wait, sorry, GT backup for a second. What was the three months? Was it the, was it…

GT: 00:52:26 So in 2010, so this happens-

Kimberly : 00:52:29 Was it the alcohol?

GT: 00:52:31 Yeah.

Kimberly : 00:52:31 I remember that.

GT: 00:52:33 Exactly. So for almost every new industry, when you’re the first, you’re the first to not only get all the successes, but also to get all the challenges. And so the entire category, not just me, it was challenged back in 2010 because of this concern, fermentation is something that’s relatively new to the U S and this whole concept of, “oh my God, does kombucha have alcohol in it?” If it does, is this going to upset people? So there was this knee jerk reaction to just temporarily take it off the shelf and to cease temporarily selling it. That was really hard for me because I’ve been in business for 15 years and I was by no means an overnight success, and kombucha in my mind was a legitimate product within these natural food stores that people were religiously consuming it.

GT: 00:53:22 And in my mind, I thought, guys, let’s talk about this, let’s work this out. But because, as you know when business gets big, the stakes get big, there were certain people that didn’t want to have that conversation. They just wanted to stop. And so my business essentially was shut off for three months and I must say, it was one of the hardest things that I went through. But similar to the story that I shared about my brother passing away, there was lessons that I learned from it. And I realized that, first of all, I started making my kombucha because I wanted to make one great bottle that would help one person. And because that was my mission, I was able to be successful at that. And if this is the ending of my career, that’s fine. It’s gone bigger and farther than I’ve ever imagined.

GT: 00:54:07 So it was really having that centering and that grounding there. And then of course, because I weave and excuse me, because I live and lead with the heart with respect to my products and what we make, my fans resonate with that. And so they were very patient and they were very supportive throughout this very challenging time. And it was really their support that helped me stay sane throughout all of that. And that’s rare.

Kimberly : 00:54:30 That must’ve been so hard. I actually do remember seeing the empty shelves like flashback. It was 10 years ago when I was like, “where did it go? I want to buy it.” And it was weird. It was like, what’s going on? And then it came back with those labels, some had alcohol some didn’t or whatever.

GT: 00:54:46 Exactly. So, that’s case in point that when you do things for a reason outside of business decisions and profit and financial success, when these very challenging times come to you, which two chances are it’s almost a definite that they’re going to happen. You’re more solidified in your path and your foundation that you can weather the storm. If you’re just caught up in the money and the profit, as soon as that gets turned off, you feel like your world is over. So I’m very grateful that looking back, I was able to survive that situation and it again, solidified my path even till today. Every time I have a challenge, I remind myself, I said, “remember that day back in 2010 where weren’t even making one bottle. You remember how that felt. So this little problem that you’re going through is nowhere near as big as that problem.” So it gives me perspective.

We discuss our self-care practices and how we turn our brains off and relax

Kimberly : 00:55:38 GT, amazing. You speak so much wisdom. You’re this yogi entrepreneur. I love hearing your advice and your wisdom, but to close up, I want to just get a little picture in there of GT the man[inaudible 00:55:51] at home in LA with hubby. So what are your self care practices, GT? How do you turn your brain off? How do you relax? Do you meditate? Do you guys like to cook dinner together? Are you a TV person? Are you a pet person? Tell me something personal because I want to get in there a little bit.

GT: 00:56:12 Absolutely. So I essentially have two, maybe three non-negotiables. So one is eight hours of sleep, no matter what. I’ll clear my calendar, I’ll cancel the most important meeting to get eight hours. Because I believe, and this is a difference of opinion some people can function off of less sleep, but I can’t. So to me, sleep is, can be a form of meditation, number one. And it really is a reset for your body to detox and cleanse and do all this stuff. And it’s also an opportunity to turn your brain on and turn your brain back off, kind of resetting or turning your computer back on and off. So eight hours of sleep is number one. Number two, is I have to work out every day. So whether that’s running, swimming, working out at the gym, lifting weights, going on a hike, something that I have to break a sweat because it’s very cleansing and it’s a huge stress reliever for me.

GT: 00:57:01 The third thing is my diet. I will never, ever, ever compromise what I eat. So, I’ve learned from others that if you don’t have this like meal plan, that you’ll work, you’ll work, you’ll work, and then you’ll get so starving that you’re going to just grab whatever’s in front of you and eat it, and then you’ll regret it. And then that will become potentially a bad habit. So those are the three things that keep me on my game physically and mentally from a health standpoint. And then the things that in addition to that, that are more of a daily routine is I meditate twice a day. I start my day with the meditation by setting my intentions for what I want out of this day. I prioritize, I have a conversation with myself, again, I kind of prepare myself for what the day can bring expected or unexpected. And then I end the day with a form of meditation. And that meditation is more of a recap of what transpired this day.

GT: 00:57:52 And similar to what we were talking about earlier is, what was that outcome? Did I like that outcome? Why didn’t I like it? Would I had done something different? What was the role that I played in that outcome? And so it’s really this ongoing conversation with myself, that really is grounded in thoughtfulness and being retrospective. So that’s kind of how I stay healthy because to be honest, Monday through Friday, I am like a marathon runner. From the moment my eyes open to the moment my eyes close, I’m running, I’m sprinting to the next job, the next project, the next meeting, the next idea. And so I need to treat my body a lot like an athlete.

GT: 00:58:32 And so what I’m also starting to incorporate into my life for some of these like anti-aging protocols, whether I’m making sure I drain my lymph nodes, whether I make sure that I have red light therapy that helps your mood or promotes fights against inflammation or things of that nature. Because I’m realizing that again, in this day and age, we are being attacked on so many different levels from technology that you almost need to use technology to undo it. And that kind of keeps me healthy mentally, as well as physically.

Kimberly : 00:59:04 GT you’ve thought through so much of this stuff. And you’re running from place to place, but you’re about to become a father. You have a husband. Are you able to be present and say, “okay, work, this is done,” or is it kind of always in your head when you’re so passionate about your business?

GT: 00:59:23 I can answer that question better when the kids are on their way and physically here, but I’m going to tell you what I’m hoping is going to happen. I’m hoping that I will see my children, in many ways is how I’ve seen my company. Is if I want it to go well, and if I want to be proud of the outcome, I’m going to have to completely commit, and that may involve some sacrifice. So right now I can’t tell you where the sacrifice is going to come from. I do know that there’s, last time I checked there is still only 24 hours in the day. So hopefully it’s not going to come from my sleep. I think it will encourage me to master the art of delegation, which I must say is an ongoing process for me.

GT: 01:00:01 So as I continue to delegate in my professional world, hopefully I’ll free up some time in my personal world to be the father that I want to be. Because I’m not having kids just to say that I’ve had kids or having kids. I’m doing it because I genuinely want to raise incredible human beings, that not only will make me proud, but in many ways will be contributors to this world because I do believe, and I think the pandemic is a case in point that this world is feeling very dark. There’s a lot of us that are very fearful of the future, and there’s a lot of division in the world. And I think we all need to start focusing on being world leaders, ourselves, and, or raising world leaders. Where they understand the role that they need to play and the mission that they need to subscribe to, to change this world for the better. So that’s actually why I’m having kids. I’m doing it because I really want to make sure that I contribute to a positive change in the world.

Kimberly : 01:00:53 Well, it’s so beautiful GT. And I can say, as a working mom, even though you look at the hours, you’re like, how am I going to fit this in? Besides Moses being here with us for the podcast, I feel like I hold in my focus. I delegate more, hire more people. You figure it out, but everything has grown since becoming a mom and I’m writing my sixth book right now, which I think is my most important book. So I am excited to see you be a dad. I think you’re going to take over the world even more.

GT: 01:01:22 Thank you from your lips to God’s ears.

Kimberly : 01:01:26 Thank you so much GT for being with us, you are such an inspiring person. You’ve helped so many people. I can’t wait to see how you keep growing and bringing your amazing kombucha and now other products into the world.

GT: 01:01:38 Yeah. Thank you.

Kimberly: 02:25 All right, Beauties. Well, I hope you really enjoyed our interview today with GT Dave. He is amazing. I hope that you learned, and… Sorry, let’s just do this outro again. Focused, and I’ll get it done quicker. Okay, here’s the outro again.

Kimberly: 02:41 All right, Beauties, well I hope you enjoyed our interview today with GT Dave. Such an inspiring, amazing person. A combination for me that’s really powerful of being so full of love, being a yogi, and also being a really smart entrepreneur. Such an incredible combination. And of course, if you’re interested in checking out his products, they’re pretty much sold everywhere these days, GT Living Foods. You can go to GTSlivingfoods.com to check out more. We will be back here Thursday as well for our next Q&A podcast. Remember to go to mysolluna.com, our website, for the show notes for today’s show. You can see my recommendations for other podcasts, you can link to some of the things I talked about today in our podcast. And also I will see you on Instagram @_KimberlySnyder. So thank you again so much. We will be back here in just a few days. Until then take care, and so much love.